Protocol Labs Research

Alfonso de la Rocha

Research Engineer


MSc in Network Services and Systems, 2017

KTH Royal Institute of Technology

MSc in Telecommunication Engineering, 2017

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

BSc in Telecommunication Engineering, 2014

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Before joining Protocol Labs, Alfonso worked as a blockchain expert at Telefónica R&D, where he was responsible for the design and development of core technology based on blockchains, distributed systems, and advanced cryptography. Alfonso’s involvement in research and development began at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, where he worked on topics related to energy efficiency in data centers. His broad R&D experience also includes research into the compression efficiency of video coding standards at Ericsson Research and projects related to securing interdomain routing protocols at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Alfonso is also an avid reader and basketball lover.

Areas of Expertise

Distributed Systems, Networking, Cryptography


2021.6.11 / Conference paper
IPFS-FAN: A Function-Addressable Computation Network
Permissionless computation is one of the missing pieces in the web3 stack in order to have all the tools needed to “decentralise Internet services”. There are already proposals to embed computation in decentralised networks like smart contracts, or blockchain networks for computational offloading.
DI2F / 2021.06.21 / Espoo, Finland
2021.1.14 / Report
Accelerating content routing with Bitswap: A multi-path file transfer protocol in IPFS and Filecoin
Bitswap is a Block Exchange protocol designed for P2P Content Addressable Networks. It leverages merkle-linked graphs in order to parallelize retrieval and verify content integrity. Bitswap is being used in the InterPlanetary File System architecture as the main content exchange protocol, as well as in the Filecoin network as part of the block synchronisation protocol.

Blog posts

ResNetLab on Tour in Australia
On May 5th, ResNetLab participated in a flagship event involving four major Australian universities — Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), University of New South Wales, Australian National University and Macquarie University — and lots of Web 3.
ResNetLab presents Beyond Bitswap at Codemotion '21
ResNetLab was delighted to accept an invitation to talk about Bitswap and the outcomes of our Beyond Bitswap project at the Spanish Edition of the Codemotion conference. The invitation was then extended to the English edition of the conference, which took place at the end of May.
2021.6.2 / Blog
ResNetLab presentations at Devfolio's ETH India 2021 Fellowship
Hot off the heels of ETHDenver, the largest Ethereum community event in North America, the Devfolio team who ran the hackathon platform for the event asked if we’d be interested in doing an IPFS training for another of their programs: the Devfolio Ethereum India Fellowship.
2021.5.13 / News
ResNetLab on Tour: [email protected]
We were delighted to present our brand new ResNetLab on Tour programme to the vibrant community of the Berkeley’s Blockchain Innovation Hub on April 28th and 29th! The ResNetLab on Tour programme is a one-stop-shop for all things IPFS and Web 3.
2021.4.6 / News
ResNetLab on Tour tutorials go on-demand
We started the ResNetLab on Tour programme in late 2019 with the goal of onboarding the research and academic community to the IPFS architecture and the interesting open problems and research directions associated with the decentralisation of internet services.
2021.3.16 / Talks
Protocol Labs at FOSDEM 2021
FOSDEM is one of the biggest events for software developers building open-source software. Founded in 2000, the conference takes place once a year in Brussels, gathering over 8000 developers, hackers, and engineers from across the spectrum of software development.
2021.2.11 / Talks
IEEE GLOBECOM 2020 - The InterPlanetary File System and the Filecoin Network
IEEE Globecom is one of the flagship IEEE ComSoc conferences in the field of networks and communications – and, with over 2000 attendees, one of the largest conferences in the field.
2021.1.20 / Blog
ResNetLab 2020 in review: we love it when a plan comes together
We hope you spent some fantastic time with your loved ones during the holiday season. With the time to pause, rest, and reflect – and with the goal of kicking off 2021 in the best way possible – we decided to capture ResNetLab’s 2020 highlights, share what we’ve learned, and describe what we will be focusing on in 2021.
2021.1.11 / Blog
Beyond Swapping Bits: project review (and preview!)
If you have been following along for the past three months (1, 2, 3, 4), you know that we in ResNetLab started the Beyond Bitswap project with one goal in mind: to drive speed-ups for file-sharing in IPFS.
2021.1.1 / Blog
Our Bitswap nodes have become “jumping inspectors” (updated)
A few weeks ago, we shared how we have taught our Bitswap nodes to jump. If you recall from that post, the content discovery range extension gained came at the expense of an increased number of duplicate blocks exchanged in the network.
2020.12.10 / Blog
Teaching Bitswap nodes to jump
By now you may have heard about ResNetLab’s research endeavour to drive speed-ups on file transfers: Beyond Swapping Bits. Our recent blog post, “Honey, I shrunk our libp2p streams”, considers how adding compression to libp2p could lead to significant bandwidth savings.
2020.11.25 / Talks
IEEE/IFIP CNSM 2020 - The InterPlanetary File System and the Filecoin Network
ResNetLab was invited to present a 3.5 hour tutorial at one of the biggest conferences in the “NetMan” community, the 16th International Conference on Network and Service Management. We were impressed by the quality of talks, keynotes, workshops, and tutorials presented during the conference.
2020.11.3 / Blog
"Two ears, one mouth": how to leverage bitswap chatter for faster transfers
As part of ResNetLab’s research endeavour to drive speed-ups on file transfers, Beyond Swapping Bits, we present a new contribution to IPFS Bitswap protocol. We argue that Bitswap is currently discarding a wealth of information that could be used to its benefit, improving retrieval success and minimizing the latency to retrieve content.
2020.10.29 / Blog
Honey, I shrunk our libp2p streams
Today we’re excited to share the story of how we decided to explore compression for libp2p streams and ended up achieving up to a 75% decrease in bandwidth use when performing an IPFS file exchange.